Thursday, 10 April 2014

Kero Blaster - From the makers of Cave Story - coming this May!

New Studio Pixel game, Kero Blaster, is almost upon us!

Cave Story is a very well known PC Indie game that was created by Japanese developer, Studio Pixel. Released as freeware back in 2004, it quickly gained popularity thanks to its cute, pixellated graphics, quirky (read, Japanese) story, and Metroidvania style open world platforming. Such was its popularity that it was remade and enhanced for general release on Nintendo's Wiiware and DSiware services in 2010, with a further enhanced version, entitled Cave Story+ hitting Steam a year later and Nintendo's 3DS the year after that.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Midnight Bite - Enjoyable stealth game, out now on Xbox Indie & iOS

Bite-Sized Fun

For those of you still checking the Xbox Live Indie Channel (all three of you), there are still some small nuggets of joy nestled amongst the throne of Flappy Bird clones and appalling anime masturbatory aids. Midnight Bite is one of those nuggets. Coming from the dependable Milkstone Studios, responsible for XBLIG gems such as Little Racers Street and Infinite Danger, Midnight Bite is a top down stealth game that puts you in the shoes of Little Dracu, a young blood sucker who has been left alone in his castle without anything to eat. With a powerful thirst on, he decides to go into town and find some villagers to chow down on, much to their obvious dismay.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Games That Need An HD Update - Little Nemo : The Dream Master (NES)

I Dream Of HD

With the excellent DuckTales Remastered by WayForward opening the floodgates for further potential Capcom / NES game reboots, there are several prime candidates that should be first in line for the HD treatment. Ignoring the obvious choice of their popular Mega Man series, or the home console ports of their own Arcade titles, one would expect to look at their outstanding titles based on Disney characters for inspiration. From the speedy, box-hurling exploits of the Rescue Rangers, the undersea exploration of The Little Mermaid, the cutesy shmup action of TaleSpin, or even the theme park shenanigans featured in Disney World-advertisement-disguised-as-a-videogame, Adventures In The Magic KingdomHowever, it is actually a non-Disney game that, for me, stands head and shoulders above all those titles, a game that is not only a delightful and thoroughly enjoyable platform adventure even today, but also one that, thanks to its creative mechanics, has the depth and variety needed to appeal to modern players. That game is Little Nemo : The Dream Master.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

New Indie Action Platformer - Action Mogura - beta available

Action Mogura, or Action Mole if translated from its native Japanese, is a new action platformer with Metroidvania elements from developer, Kro Bon Station. Currently in the unfinished beta stage of development, this action packed uber-Japanese game has bags of potential. Featuring a chubby brown mole who is capable of hurling large Hadouken style fireballs at his robotic adversaries, it is clear that this is a game that doesn't take itself too seriously - though it can often to be hard to tell with Japanese games. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Retro Review - Jackal (Arcade / NES)

4 Wheel Shmup Action

Jackal (or Top Gunner as it was known in North America) is a classic Konami arcade shoot-em-up that often gets unfairly overlooked. Not only does it feature the developer's wonderful, and instantly recognisable, style of visuals and sound of the time, but it also offers some great blasting action and some original ideas in a genre usually swamped in predictability. Essentially a vertical scrolling shmup, Jackal has one significant difference that separates it from your standard Fireshark, 1943, or Raiden affairs - the ability to explore the stage at your own pace. After being dropped via parachute onto a beach, your two man team set off in their military jeep and, as you move vertically upwards, the screen scrolls with you. You can stop and move around at your leisure, with the screen following you to the left and right for a short distance should you move off the central path, and even backtrack a little way.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Wizard Wizard - a free indie platformer with hints of Super Meat Boy

Wizard Wizard is a short, but sweet, 2D platform game that apes the masochistic twitch-jumping antics of games like Super Meat Boy. The princess has been kidnapped (surprise, surprise) and it's up to you, the titular Wizard, to rescue her. Each of the single screen stages presents a locked exit door and a key, located somewhere hard to reach. Between you and said key are the usual assortment of saw blades and rotating spikey death things one would expect. Using only the power of jumping and double jumping, you must perform pixel perfect movements in order to nab the key and reach the exit. It's simplistic and very short, yet Wizard Wizard is still worth a playthrough thanks to the not-too-taxing difficulty level, basic yet charming pixel art and music, and the fact that it doesn't take itself at all seriously - owls will make comments such as "Give me $10" or the more stating-the-obvious, "I'm an owl".

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review - TxK (PS Vita)

Tunnel Vision

TxK is another entry in a long running series of psychedelic shooters from British developer, Jeff Minter. Ever since the days of the Commodore 64, when he unleashed his Mutant Camels onto the world, Jeff has had a borderline obsession with LSD-infused visual madness and farmyard animals - sheep, yaks, camels, llamas, you name it (though I guess it has to be a fairly exotic farmyard to host all of those animals). His most famous creation thus far has to be Tempest 2000, a reboot of Atari's classic 1981 arcade shoot-em-up created for their Jaguar console. It is widely considered to be the best game on the system, and deservedly so, despite there being little in the way of competition. It stuck closely to the formula set by the arcade original, only this time with Minter's unhinged acid-trip take on proceedings. Cue, fireworks, explosions of neon light, wobbling nonsensical text, speak-and-spell speech, sheep noises and a fantastic rave soundtrack.